Dame Ethel Mary Smyth (1858–1944)

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Composer of operas, oratorios and concertos, also a champion of women's rights. Having battled against the constraints of her gender and class to study composition, Smyth gained recognition in Britain with her 'Mass in D' in 1893. Works such as the opera 'The Wreckers' in 1906 and the orchestral songs 'Three Moods of the Sea' in 1913 later increased her reputation. From 1911 to 1913 she devoted herself to the women's suffrage movement for which she provided the battle hymn, 'The March of the Women'.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Dame Ethel Mary Smyth (1858–1944)






H 66.8 x W 44 x D 35 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

donated by Gilbert Bayes Charity, 2008

Work type



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